Charlotte Motor Speedway to host in-car graduations for Cabarrus County seniors

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina officials have announced that Cabarrus County Schools will hold graduation ceremonies at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The event will be an in-car graduation ceremony and students will receive their diplomas at the start/finish lines on the track.

“We are grateful to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for making their facility available to some of our graduating seniors to give them the opportunity to have an unforgettable graduation this year,” said Superintendent Johnson. “When we approached the speedway with this idea, they began work right away to make the speedway available and to plan an incredible graduation experience.”

Seniors from all 10 high schools in the county will have their graduation on June 12 and 13.

Students will get to watch the commencement on the massive Speedway TV, in a drive-in style ceremony before driving around the track to get their diplomas.

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“Cabarrus County Schools is excited that our Class of 2020 graduates will be able to celebrate their graduation at such a unique venue,” said Cabarrus County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Lowder. “We are grateful to Charlotte Motor Speedway for their hospitality and look forward to working with them to make this a memorable experience for our graduates and their families."

Guests will not be allowed in the stands due to COVID-19 guidelines that limit large gatherings.

Click here for more information on the ceremony.

"Even with keeping everybody safe, we still get to see the speeches and be surrounded by our classmates and kind of walk and get our diploma staying in our cars,” student Sejal Rai said. “I’m so happy."

"It's like the end of a NASCAR race,” father David Monroe said. “You’re gonna cross the finish line and it's going to signify the end of a strong journey."

Greg Walter, who is with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, said they are working with authorities with safety as top priority.

“We talked about protocols, how to keep the kids safe, how do we do this is in a meaningful way that creates a special moment?” Walter said. “You know graduation's a special moment -- a rite of passage for students.”

Walter said they're talking with other schools and districts, as well and are trying to accommodate as many as possible.

The Cabarrus County Schools graduation schedule is as follows:

Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School - 8 a.m. Friday, June 12

Performance Learning Center - 8:45 a.m. Friday, June 12

Cabarrus Early College of Technology - 10 a.m. Friday, June 12

Central Cabarrus High School - 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 12

Cox Mill High School - 4 p.m. Friday, June 12

Hickory Ridge High School - 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12

Jay M. Robinson High School - 9 a.m. Saturday, June 13

Mount Pleasant High School - 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13

Northwest Cabarrus High School - 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13

Concord High School - 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13